Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Moderate Quake Hits San Francisco, Little Damage. The headline, of course, is a lie. The quake hit Gilroy, which is just outside of San Jose. But, we know that the media believe the rest of America is too dumb to know that there's more to California than just Los Angeles and San Francisco.

As the quake hit last night, the ten o'clock news was just beginning. Leslie and sat, holding each other, waiting for the rocking to stop as the opening theme music faded into the "Good evening" of the anchor. We naively expected that the lead story would be dropped for a moment for the anchor to say, "Yes, that was an earthquake you just felt." But, in San Francisco, where the TV station is located, they hadn't yet felt the temblor.

It took another ten minutes for them to make an announcement about the quake, following which they went to their reporters in the field - in San Francisco - to see what had happened. Not much, according to the folks up there who were barely aware that it had happened. It took another ten minutes for them to talk to folks in the South Bay, who could really talk about what the shaker felt like.

So, the prejudice towards favoring SF (and shunning San Jose) is not just a problem of the national media. It's only a reflection of our own local media, that feels that only SF is "The City" and the rest of us live in the sticks. During the height of the digital revolution, coverage could talk about the geographically non-existent Silicon Valley. But now that the magic has worn off, we're back to being San Jose, and an unimportant part of the story. Oh, well.

Anyway, we survived the quake, although we were a bit nervous about this building surviving it.

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